Two days later, after my Chicago escapades, I opened the suitcase again - to find the salt container securely sealed, and a large amount of salt pervading all of the suitcase. I'm quite willing to believe that the container came unsealed during transit and dumped salt all over the place - but customs must have dumped out the rest of my salt for me and resealed the container; the suitcase had obviously been looked at. (And with white crystals all over it, that makes sense.) The salt set me back by at least half-an-hour of work, as every article required its own wiping down. Perhaps this will all make my dissertation tastier in the long run?
My grandmother is back on the ventilator, and went in for minor surgery this morning to clear fluid out of her lung cavity, and keep her lung from collapsing any further. So far, the results have been excellent. With each day, the bruises grow paler and paler.
Tomorrow, we drive up to Iowa.